Posts filed under ‘israel’
Zedekiah was afraid of other men, just like Pontius Pilate was also afraid of men and instead of doing what was right where Jeremiah was concerned, he said he couldn’t go against the nobles and so Jeremiah was imprisoned. Because of that fear, Zedekiah is unable to stand with God, on God’s side. We like to talk about whether or not God is on our side and as Christians, yes, He is, but it is just as important that we stand with God on His side against all forms of evil. We can never be afraid to choose what is right, what we know God wants us to do or say. He empowers us, after all. But Zedekiah feared men too much. While drawn to Jeremiah and his message, indicating he wanted to do what was right, in the end, he failed to do what was right and paid the price for his disobedience.
Notice in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus opens with “Our Father,” and then does not state any reference to Him again except for the use of the word “your.” He didn’t feel the need to insert the Father’s name or reference at the beginning or end of each statement. In fact, we know that God sees the depth of our own thoughts even though we may not actually know how to pray, (cf. Job 31:4; Jeremiah 23:24; Romans 8:26). God knows us! We need to drop the pretense, adopt reverence, and approach Him with awe and praise, understanding who He is, at least as He has chosen to reveal Himself to us in His Word.
We need to also remember that God chose to respond to Daniel’s prayers (and those of his friends) because of His (God’s) highest purposes. Daniel and his friends made themselves available to God and God chose to use them for His glory. In the process, these young men grew in wisdom and discernment before the Lord. Daniel himself was given the gift of interpreting dreams. These benefits came from God and were to be used to bring great glory to Him. These gifts were not to be used for selfish gain, but to highlight God’s purposes.
It is extremely important to understand that it is in this particular chapter, Daniel 2, that God provided a very broad picture of prophetic content for the earth from that point in human history up to the time of the physical return of Jesus, or His second coming. Based on this, it is easy to understand it was very likely God Himself who prompted Nebuchadnezzar to make such a demand of his wise men as he did. It was essentially God proving Himself and His sovereignty through Nebuchadnezzar to the world. We have seen that time and time again, God’s Word has been proven to be true.
If we stop to consider the fact that what God reveals information – some through the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, some via angelic messengers, and some through Daniel’s own visions and/or dreams – to Daniel and ultimately, to us and all of it has to do with the future. Some of it was related to Daniel’s near future. Some of it pointed to the far future, even after Daniel was gone. Some of it pointed all the way to the time of Jesus and His Second Coming. It wasn’t for Daniel that God revealed these things, though certainly some of it applied to Daniel during his lifetime. Ultimately, the things that God revealed to Daniel were for the benefit of Israel and the world, long after Daniel would pass from this earth and it all started with these troubling dreams that robbed Nebuchadnezzar of his sleep.
Note that once Daniel provides the timeline (Nebuchadnezzar’s second year), he moves onto the reason for writing what becomes chapter two. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that robs him of his sleep. The text notes that the king had more than one dream, that he had dreams (plural). It is likely that all the dreams – however many he had – were in a series but all had the same subject. Nebuchadnezzar was so troubled by these dreams that he could not maintain sleep for any real length of time.
The Book of Job is an example of the difference between Union and Fellowship. Job’s righteousness made him proud, a sin in God’s eyes. When Satan asked to torment him, God had to agree in spite of the fact that Job was one of the most righteous men on Earth, because he hadn’t confessed his sin. As long as Job relied on his own righteousness he was vulnerable to attack, and none of his complaints could change that, even though he remained a child of God. When he confessed, God put a stop to the torment and restored him. The lesson Job learned through his ordeal (and that we’re supposed to learn as well according to Romans 15:4) is that when we justify ourselves, we condemn God. Whenever we start thinking that we don’t deserve something bad that’s happening to us, we in effect accuse God of being unjust. It’s part of our human nature to look outside of ourselves for the blame, but it delays our reconciliation with God.